Witnesses at Old Bailey trial tell how they attempted to comfort Rocky Djelal as he lay dying in Southwark Park

Admin (11 December, 2020)

One person said he saw the glint of a killer's knife in the seconds before the murder

26275Bermondsey man Rocky Djelal was fatally stabbed in Southwark Park on October 31 in 2018

The Old Bailey has been told how members of the public attempted to comfort a stabbed Bermondsey man as he lay dying in Southwark Park.

Stephen O’Rourke, 48, is accused of stabbing Bermondsey man Rocky Djelal, 38, near the children’s playground on October 31, 2018.

Sam Austen ran towards the 38-year-old and tried to comfort him in Southwark Park on October 31, 2018.

Mr Austen told the Old Bailey: “He didn’t say anything to me, I could tell he was dying.

“Blood was coming out of his mouth, and he was taking short sharp breaths.

“His eyes were open, and I could tell they weren’t responding to my being there.

“They didn’t flicker when I waved my hand in front of his face.

“I tried talking to him, telling him help was coming, but he didn’t respond.”

Jurors were earlier told by a member of the public that he saw the glint of a knife moments before the killing.

Tom Willis was walking through Southwark Park in southeast London to a gallery when he saw Stephen O’Rourke, 48, allegedly stabbing 38-year-old Rocky Djelal to death.

Mr Willis was on his way to meet friends at a nearby art gallery when a blood curdling scream stopped him in his tracks.

He turned to see what he first thought was a man fighting with an animal.

But he then realised it was one attacker pinning his victim to the ground, the court heard.

Mr Willis told jurors: “I was walking round there was quite a loud sort of yelp, I would describe it as. It almost didn’t sound like…” pausing, Mr Willis then continued: “I did not assume it was a person.

“I did not move forwards anymore, but towards my left which is when I could fully see round the corner. Initially, it was just a sort of scuffle and that is when I thought at first it was possible a person and an animal.

“At that point I saw it was not an animal it was in fact two people. Initially it looked like they were in a fist fight. At that point I sort of turned around because I thought I did not want to get involved with that.

“I could see two sets of limbs. One was on their back and one was sort of standing over the one laying on the floor or on their back.’

Describing the man standing up, he added: “They had a hi-vis jacket on that was the biggest visual thing I could remember. They had a dark hoody with the hood pulled up.

“I could see the person on top had both limbs coming down alternately. The right arm came up and I saw the glint of a knife and it was then I realised it was more serious than a fist fight.

“It was quite an obstructed view so it was never really clear. It all lasted sort of 30 seconds but as I say both arms were coming down.’

Mr Willis recalled to the court how the victim began to stumble towards him saying ‘help me’ and tried to climb over a fence but fell.

“When he fell face-down that is when I called 999 and got the police. I sort of stepped over the fence and at that point I think there was a few other people sort of started to collect round.

“There was maybe six or seven mothers in the playground with children. I remember there were two people who had come from the gallery. One guy bent down next to him and there was a lady as well.

“There was at least two or three people on the phone to the police or ambulance. I believe the victim’s father arrived fairly quickly which I think was because he had what I think was the victim’s phone in his hand.

“I believe he arrived before the police and ambulance arrived and he was asking what had happened, obviously very distressed.

“He was shouting: “Where is my boy?”.

The court has heard ‘paranoid’ O’Rourke believed Mr Djelal had murdered his brother Michael, 21, in 2000.

O’Rourke allegedly disguised himself as a builder and snuck up on Mr Djelal in the park near a children’s playground on Halloween in 2018.

The pair had grown up together in the same neighbourhood and their families had known one another all their lives.

Mr Djelal was arrested but released without charge and no one was ever prosecuted over Michael’s murder on 20 August 2000, the court has heard.

The accused killer donned a high-vis jacket, paint-splashed trousers and labourer’s boots to blend in with builders working near the park café and ‘surprise’ the victim, the court heard.

He stabbed Mr Djelal twice before plunging the blade 11cm into his back causing his lung to collapse at around 1.58pm, it was said.

Prosecutors allege Stephen enlisted his 34-year-old brother Jason, aka ‘Biggie,’ to assist in the killing and hide the blood-stained clothes after the killing.

Jason was initially arrested alongside O’Rourke but killed himself while awaiting trial, the court has heard.

O’Rourke, of Grosvenor Park, Kennington denies murder.

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